‘Seven Women Have Died From Smelling Free Perfume Samples’

Like so much online disinformation, a fearmongering copypasta involving perfume first saw light as a chain email.

The text pushed the hoary claim that several women were killed by mysterious perfume samples; as we have reported before, it was later adapted to involve a non-existent hospital and “terrorist” threats. The newer version read:

URGENT news from Glen Eagles Hospital URGENT!!!!

Seven women have died after inhaling a free perfume sample that was mailed to them. The product was poisonous. If you receive free samples in the mail such as lotions, perfumes, diapers etc. throw them away. The terrorists new ideas [sic]. Send this to all your friends and family members.

You can read more about the “hospital” here.

We have traced back the origins of this extremely tenacious hoax to around 2001, when it originated as the story of a woman who was poisoned after inhaling a perfume sample shortly after the attacks on the U.S. on September 11th of that year; despite being untrue even back then, it has been regurgitated in various iterations since.

Update 12/4/2022, 10:10 p.m. PST: This article has been revamped and updated. You can review the original here. — ag